How do I shutdown vCenter 5.5 cleanly

Hi All,

I have two ESX 5.5 servers that share data on two SANs.  I need to power everything off to perform an electrical test.

Last time i powered off the ESX servers by shutting down all the VM's manually (logging in and clicking shutdown).  then i click ed on the ESX and shut it down.  But it failed all the shutdown VM's to the other ESX.  Which i had to manually move back when the server came back online.

Is there a better way to shutdown vCenter 5.5?


Many thanks
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detox1978Asked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Whilst connected to vCenter Server...

1. Shutdown ALL VMs, leave vCenter Server to one of the last....(make a note of which server it is on, for later, when you need to power on, you will need to connect direct to that host to Power on vCenter Server)

or you could, Select Hosts, Enter Maintenance Mode, which will move VMs off to other hosts, then shutdown Host.

Eventually..... you will probably then have to shutdown VMs, using vCenter Server, leave until last then shutdown.

then you've got one last ESXi host to login to direct and shutdown
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detox1978Author Commented:
Looking at method one.

1.  Log into all the VMs (except vCenter) and manually shut them down
2.  Log into vCenter and shut it down

How do i shut the ESX servers down?  Do i then connect to the ESX servers using vSphere?  If all the VM's are off can i select Shutdown (without putting the server into maintenance mode)?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
There is no need to log into VMs, and shutdown.

if you connect via vCenter Server, select ALL VMs, and select shutdown, if they have VMware Tools inside they will all shutdown correctly and cleanly without logging into each VM!

No need to do 1. waste of time

No need to do 2.  either.

How do i shut the ESX servers down?  Do i then connect to the ESX servers using vSphere?  If all the VM's are off can i select Shutdown (without putting the server into maintenance mode)?

You connect direct using vSphere Client (legacy C#/J#) client to ESXi server, and Click Shutdown!
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detox1978Author Commented:
Bit of a daft question, but want to be 100% sure.

When I select the VMs there is an option that says Shut Down Guest.  Is this the option to shut it down Windows?


so the process would be;

1.  Log into vCenter select all the VMs (except vCenter) and select Shut Down Guest
2.  Log into vCenter VM and shut it down
3.  connect to each ESX and select Shutdown
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detox1978Author Commented:
I've just logged into the vCenter VM and noticed its Linux.  What is the command i need to run to shut the vCenter VM down from its own console?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
When I select the VMs there is an option that says Shut Down Guest.  Is this the option to shut it down Windows?

Correct! (only works if VMware Tools installed in the VM!)

Log into vCenter VM and shut it down

No. Just select vCenter Server Appliance, and also select Shutdown!

of switch to ESXi direct connection, and shutdown from there.- e.g. Shutdown Guest!

Why create work for yourself, logging in here there and everywhere.....

Select ALL VMs, I think Shift etc, and then hot key CTRL-D and they'll all go down! (Shutdown Guest cleanly!)
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detox1978Author Commented:
Thats quite handy to know.  

I didn't set this environment up so I'm not sure if the vCenter server has vmtools. Is there a way to check?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The appliance does have VMware Tools installed!
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detox1978Author Commented:
Many thanks for the help everything seems to have shut down and came back on.  It was a lot quicker using vcenter to power off the VMs.

A minor issue

When I try to power on vCenter it ask if the virtual machine has been moved or copied and wants me to click move, copy or cancel.  It looks like it's auto moved from the o the esx as it was on it and there is now a unknown (inaccessible) VM in its place on the esx server.

What should I do?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
That's a bit odd.... I have an EE Article... for you to follow

HOW TO: Select the right answer to "I Moved It" or "I Copied It" in VMware vSphere (ESXi)

Have a read let me know what you think the answer should be ?
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detox1978Author Commented:
From that article it looks like it's relating to physically moving the VM data.   I'm not sure what to put as I didn't move or copy it.  It's in the same place, but on a new esx server.

I think I may have powered the guest is off via vsphere in error.


Any suggestions?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It is related to moving the VM.... have you moved the VM ?

You didn't Move or Copy the VM, but vSphere thinks it's MOVED, so select I MOVED IT!

(if you had copied it, you would have two!)

This does not change anything on the VM!
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detox1978Author Commented:
All backup and running.

Many thanks for your help.  You saved me a few hours on the method I used to use.
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